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With the donation, Masonic Lodge master Mike Early hopes to not only help the baseball program, but also the Lodge itself by raising awareness for Masonry and its practices

PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE EARLY  - Molalla Masonic Lodge master Mike Early (left) presented Jim Dantona, the Molalla High School baseball team's head coach, with a $1,000 check on Wednesday evening. Molalla Masonic Lodge master Mike Early presented Jim Dantona, the Molalla High School baseball team's head coach, with a $1,000 check on Wednesday evening.

Early said a number of different programs were considered, but that the baseball program was chosen because they identified it as a fraternity, similar to that of the Masonic Lodge.

"Masonry is a fraternity, that means it's male, and baseball teams are principally male," Early said in a phone interview Thursday. "We aren't not wanting to help ladies or girls, but in terms of being able to put our name out in front of a group that might be subsequently interested in Masonry during their later years of high school or as young men, we're hoping by the means of our donation, not only to help them, but to help Masonry be identified as still viable in the community in Oregon, because every fraternal organization across the country is having great difficulty maintaining their membership and getting people to be interested in them, and we're trying to help them and help ourselves at the same time."

Early said the Masonic Lodge is "an organization of good men trying to be better," that tries to "make them more aware of their community, make them more aware of their responsibilities as fathers and husbands, and members of their community, and do something besides what the typical citizen seems to do anymore, which is to sit on the couch and watch TV."

"We're trying to get people in interested in helping their community and keep them active in doing things for the community," Early said. "But historically, Masonry helped build this nation … Masons had a major part in doing, all the way from the Boston Tea Party bunch, to Paul Revere, to George Washington and 10 or 11 other presidents who have been Masons, and the underpinnings of this nation come from Masonry, which is itself, at this point, nearly 400 years old as a viable fraternity."

Early continued: "We try to teach the people that we accept into the fraternity not only the history behind the fraternity and why we consider ourselves to be important to the community, but also teach them, or show them, by doing what they can do to help their community."

We reached out to Molalla baseball head coach Jim Dantona and will update this story with additional comments.


Conner Williams
Sports Reporter/News Contributor
503-829-2301 ext. 341
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